High fives. School spirit. Team pride. School-based sports programmes can bring out noticeable positive reactions and behaviors in young adults. Sport deserves as much as attention as any other academic subject. However, in today’s day and age, youngsters are spending more time glued to television screens, their smartphones and rooted to their classroom desks. Teachers and educational professionals emphasize that young people should do sport and understand that fitness is important to be healthy and to do well at school, but don’t always have the time or know-how to engage students with the benefits of sports. Here are a few ways you can help encourage more sports participation in your school.
- Celebrate fitness with festivals: Give your students a chance to celebrate something, even if it is physical activity. The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace initiative by the United Nations is just one day where schools can invite students’ families and other community members to participate in developing before-and after-school programmes. Sports festivals are a great platform for parents and students to come together and brainstorm additional events and ideas for the festival. From triathlons, hula-hooping, sack races or egg and spoon races, the whole community can get involved in a sport.
- Let students take charge through Sports Clubs: Student can build their own programs from scratch and transform the way they look at fitness with groups and activities that interest them. Sports clubs allow students to take on accountability and responsibility, giving them a sense of fulfillment, while developing competencies that can be applied within the school and beyond. Sports clubs also help young adults build lasting friendships and make them feel part of a wider community. Our own programme Youth Sports Leadership works by training teachers and coaches in coaching and mentoring skills that help them enable 15-16-year-old students to become ‘young sports leaders’. These students then go on to further develop their leadership skills by organizing sports festivals in their cities and communities and train 11-12-year-olds to build their own leadership skills to make sport sustainable in their schools. You can read more about our programme here.
- In-class physical activity: Starting class with 10 minutes of physical activity is a great way to get young adults moving without sacrificing academic learning. Integrating physical activity in the classroom through movement, nutrition and health teaching is a great way to promote sport and healthy lifestyles in the classroom. Some of the classroom activities that combine fitness and learning are Hopscotch math and spelling, classroom warm-ups or fitness breaks.
Here is a dose of inspiration for you - have a look at our partner - the Youth Sports Trust website, they are passionate about promoting the power of sports among young adults from an early age.
Another initiative you can look into is the “This Girl Can” campaign which is the celebration of active women supported by Sports England that encourages inclusion and women’s participation in sports.
To stay up to date with our sports projects in Qatar follow our campaign #MakeSportHappen